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Teaching My Kids “Mom is Unavailable”

Updated: Sep 5, 2021

A mom of littles knows the battlefield of doing anything alone. Our little shadows are always with me (and I mean always because I’m a joyful stay at home mom). What blessings those shadows are!

There‘s also no wrong reason to want a little “space”. Recently, “dinner time” specifically has been quite the chore.

Everyone is maxed out for the day, patience can be spread thin, and you’re trying to keep up with a recipe while also managing interruptions and moods.

I knew I wanted to start creating habits where my toddler knew “mom is unavailable; you need to play by yourself.” It’s one thing to use words but in those young years, concrete boundaries they can SEE really help.

I’ve had a concept I’ve tested for about a month now, and I’m happy to report it’s working!

Ladies and Gentleme I present to you, The Apron. (Also Oliver took this picture 😍)

I’ve always loved aprons but recently I’ve come to love them more. It’s become a visual cue to my toddler that “Mama is unavailable to play.” Plus they are pretty and whimsy.

If I need to wash dishes, cook meals, or fold laundry in peace, the apron comes on.

When I’m done, the apron comes off and my toddler runs and gives me the biggest hug.

It took one solid week of explaining and keeping boundaries and now it’s working like a dream.

Unexpected bonus - it’s really helped me make the most of productivity. The apron is a mental cue to me as well that it’s “work time“.

So if you find yourself saying “not right now.“ “get out of the kitchen” and “im sorry, I can’t play right now” a billion times, give the apron trick a try.

*** PS - I’ve made it clear that apron means Mama can’t play. But I still can help with the potty, sibling interventions, or tricky toy problems *if* he’s tried to solve the problem himself two times.

Send All The Cute Aprons To Me… Kidding… Kind Of,


* Don’t forget….The Cirkles are cheering you on!


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